Author(s): UW Medicine Intensive Care Unit

Community Reviewer(s): Harborview Community House Calls Program

Date Authored: September 10, 2017

This handout offers information for families and loved ones of patients. It explains how doctors determine that a person is dead based on their brain function.

Handout PDFs are available in the sidebar available in Amharic, Arabic, Khmer (Cambodian), Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese. See UW Medicine Health Online for English.

For information for providers, see Determination of Brain Death/Death by Neurologic Criteria – The World Brain Death Project (article accessible with JAMA subscription).

The Brain
Photo by Francisco Bengoa (cc license).